spring 2022
BIO-3901 Master's Thesis in Marine Biotechnology - 60 ECTS

Type of course

Only students on the Master's degree program in biotechnology are eligible for this course. It is not available to any other category of students as a singular or elective course.

Admission requirements

Only students on the Master's degree program in biotechnology are eligible for this course. It is not available to any other category of students as a singular or elective course. 

Students who are admitted to the master's in biotechnology normally select a project during the first semester, and no later than one month before the end of the second semester. There will be arranged meetings/seminars to give overview of available master projects and themes during the first semester.

Course content

The master thesis is the main part of the master study in marine biotechnology. Skills will be developed through independent scientific work and production of a written thesis under the guidance by one or several supervisors. The work should be research related and the thesis should have elements of new basic knowledge or methods. The thesis can be based on literature study, data from field work or laboratory research or a combination of these.

The thesis is written within one of the following disciplines, linked to use of sustainable marine arctic resources for different innovative purposes:

  • Marine resources - characterization and isolation of marine natural compounds (used in industry, ingredients, drug discovery, functional food)
  • Biological activity and mechanisms of actions of marine natural compounds using modern technology (antibacterial, anticancer, immune modulatory, anti-oxidative etc.)
  • Marine resources and molecular biotechnology of secondary metabolites (invertebrates, microalgae, bacteria, fungi)
  • Basic studies on arctic marine animals and microorganism
  • Marine resources as food - impact on health

Objectives of the course

A Master's candidate is expected to have advanced and comprehensive knowledge of biotechnological methodology, theories, concepts and scientific approaches. The candidates who complete the programme are expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes, defined by general proficiency, knowledge and skills


  • Have advanced knowledge about industrial and biotechnological processes for use of marine resources and natural molecules with unique characteristics
  • Have knowledge that can be applied to solve specific tasks in industry and public administration
  • Understand our ethical our ethical responsibility for sustainable resource utilization, industrial practice and innovation
  • Have knowledge of scientific theory and experience in applying scientific methodology

Skills. Students will have the ability to

  • Formulate relevant research questions in an independent manner, and apply theories, concepts and methods pursuant to the scientific and ethical standards in the field
  • Use advanced skills in genetics, biotechnological and molecular biological techniques
  • Use multidisciplinary skills that enable students to combine different disciplines so that they can analyze and solve a wide range of technical problems
  • Demonstrate proficiency in working individually and as a member of a team
  • Complete a research project in marine biotechnology
  • Search for and evaluate recent biological research in a critical manner, and to make assessments using scientific knowledge in the field
  • Present biotechnological knowledge and ideas in an instructive manner to researchers, policy makers, industry and the general public

General proficiency

  • Have acquired specialized expertise in one of the topics areas offered
  • Have the competence to analyze biotechnology problems that require skills at a high level
  • Apply their knowledge and skills in biotechnological theory and methods in new areas relevant to society
  • Have sufficient competence to participate in and to evaluate research projects or to advance to doctoral studies
  • Able to present scientific results in written and oral form

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Individual guidance and supervision according to agreement and of two semesters duration. Maximum workload for the supervisor is 80 hours, you will receive supervision within these limits.

The theme for the thesis will be chosen in consultation with the supervisor and requires the approval of NFH in the form if submitted guidance contract with an attached project description. The general work effort in a master`s project (60 ECTS) is 1500-1800 hours. The work can be started in 2 or 3 semesters of the master's degree. The Master's thesis must be written in English.

Contract of supervision and approvals

All students will fill out a supervision contract in consultations with their supervisor.  This contract should be signed by the student, the supervisor(s) and the head of the Department. The contract along with a project description, has to be approved by the Department.

Dead line for handing in the contract is the semester before you start on the thesis;

1. June for students admitted in autumn.

15. December for students admitted in spring.

The front page of the thesis should be approved by the student advisor before submissions. Look at earlier approved front pages of master thesis in Munin. The master thesis should be printed in 12 copies, if not otherwise stated. Color pages must be specified in an own field upon submissions to Munin to print in color. 


The exam is comprised of a submission of the master's thesis within a given deadline, a (public) presentation of the scientific work and an oral exam.The master's thesis and all courses included in the master's degree must be passed before the oral presentation and examination can take place. The deadline for submission is 15 May in the spring semester and 15 November in the autumn semester. Grading scale: Letter grades A-F. F is fail. The Examination Commission consists of at least one external examiner and one internal examiner. After the master's thesis is submitted and approved, there will be a presentation and an oral master's examination. The examination consists of a presentation of minimum 30 minutes where the student provides an overview of the project. The presentation can be public. Then follows an oral examination with only the Examination Commission.The master's thesis must be submitted in PDF format, the submission is done electronically in Munin by 15:00 (3:00 p.m.). Re-submission of the thesis: Only if a master's thesis project is graded "F" (fail), may the thesis be resubmitted in revised form. A new deadline for submission will be given. The deadline for resubmitting the thesis is normally 3 months from the point in time when the candidate was informed about the exam result. If the thesis receives a grade of "F" a second time, the student can apply to the Program Board for a new master's thesis project.  Postponed submission: If a medical certificate is provided, the student may be given a postponed deadline for submitting the Master's thesis according to regulations in section 21 of Regulations for examinations at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (usually within 1-3 weeks).   By reasoned application with confirmation from supervisor by 1 May or 1 November, 3 month postponement of the submission deadline can be granted.For further details see:Regulations for examinations at the UiT:

<a href="https://intranett.uit.no/Content/497442/Eng. https://intranett.uit.no/Content/497442/Eng. Prosedyre for karaktersetting av masteroppgave">Guidelines for grading master's thesis</a> 

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 60
  • Course code: BIO-3901
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic